Coach Michael Malone said Jan. 16 that Porter (back) remains without a timeline for making his NBA debut, Nick Kosmider of The Athletic reports. "There are days [Porter is] able to go through parts of practice -- noncontact, of course-- and you see his size, his skill level, his shooting," Malone said. "The guy has a pure jump shot. You forget how long he is. When we do ballhandling and finishing drills, you see his handle and ability to finish, and it's impressive. When we do shooting drills and you see his stroke and how pure it is. It's really encouraging."

While it appears safe to conclude that Porter won't be available until after the All-Star break, if at all, this season, Malone's comments illustrate the optimism the Nuggets hold for his future. Widely considered a candidate to go No. 1 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft prior to his freshman campaign at Missouri, Porter instead played just three college games after requiring a pair of spinal surgeries to address bulging discs in his back. That resulted in him falling to Denver at pick No. 14, a selection the team viewed as a worthy high-risk/high-reward decision. With the Nuggets already sitting in second place in the Western Conference standings sans Porter, the team is incentivized to continue taking it slowly with the 6-foot-10 forward before integrating him into the rotation in 2019-20. The 20-year-old should continue to be viewed as a prized asset in dynasty formats.

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